• Monday, Dec 16, 2019
  • Last Update : 02:22 pm

Off track and out of date

  • Published at 12:06 am November 16th, 2019
Railway train commute passenger
Photo: MEHEDI HASAN

When it comes to our railway sector, we cannot afford to remain lax

Just three days after a collision between two trains killed 16 people in Brahmanbaria, a Rangpur Express train has derailed in Sirajganj, injuring 25 people in the process.

This was not a coincidence but, rather, a pattern of behaviour endemic in the railway sector, with, on average, 100 railway related accidents having occurred every year for the last five years. 

On the one hand, we seek progress and development, for which a well-connected Bangladesh is essential, one which has a robust railway network.

On the other, the system we have in place is so below par, that not only is it miles away from any sort of state-of-the-art network that will increase efficiency and improve communications in the country, it is unable to provide the service it is supposed to at its current state.

It should come as no surprise that most of these incidents occur as a result of human error, with the incompetence of those running the trains and defective trains and tracks being the primary culprits.

This should come as no surprise considering that the entire sector is severely understaffed, leading to workers who are overworked and undertrained. 

When it comes to our railway sector, we cannot afford to remain lax, and allow this culture of negligence to continue, playing with the lives of hundreds of thousands of people every day.

Not only that -- the railway sector boasts outdated trains and tracks, which cannot be automated, and with Bangladesh being so grossly underprepared for automation in this regard, one wonders how the new MRT lines will be run efficiently and safely.

No, this must become a priority for the government and improvements must be made across the board to the railway sector. In many ways, the future of our country depends on it.